Facebook tests CatchUp audio-calling app, may be a rival to Apple’s FaceTime Audio
Users will be able to set their status as ‘Ready to Talk’ or offline, something that is not there in Apple’s FaceTime Audio yet.
Facebook has a new, experimental app in the market called CatchUp. This is a conferencing app that is said to be a potential rival to Apple's FaceTime Audio calling feature. Why only Apple's FaceTime Audio and not video? That's because it only features an audio-calling facility. As mentioned by TechCrunch, the new app by Facebook lets you call up to eight people in a single call. However, there are some new features as well.
As mentioned in the report, users will be able to set their status as ‘Ready to Talk' or offline, something that is not there in Apple's FaceTime Audio yet. One of the biggest plus-point here is that Facebook's CatchUp doesn't require you to have a Facebook account. It apparently works with your phone's contacts list, for which you will probably have to give permissions.
However, Apple FaceTime Audio rivalry is not what Facebook is looking for here. As mentioned by CatchUp product lead, Nikki Shah, the app tries to solve the biggest problem we have right now - calling others in an inappropriate time.
“Based on our studies, we found that one of the main reasons people don't call friends and family more frequently is that they don't know when they are available to talk or are worried they may reach them at an inconvenient time. CatchUp addresses this problem, and even makes group calling as easy as one tap,” says Shah.
Facebook is testing CatchUp in the US with limited users. It also says that the mix includes both Android and iOS users. However, it is only an experimental app for now and we are not sure if it will reach a wider set of audience or not. “NPE apps are experimental, subject to change,” concludes the blog post.
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